It Turns Out We've Been Washing Our Towels All Wrong
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It's time for "New Year, New You", or so the adage goes - but 2021 needn't mean you need to invest in some new towels.
There may be way to salvage your hard (and dare we say it, slightly crusty?) towels if you feel yours are looking a little worse for wear.
Towel designer and expert Lucy Ackroyd of Christy has revealed some top tips in keeping your towels light, fluffy and practically hotel standard.
The first tip Lucy advises is to wash your towels separately. Sure, it's easy to just bung in a whole stack of laundry into the machine - but Lucy reveals that this can stop them from becoming lovely and fluffy.
"When washing your towels, never overload the machine. The towels need plenty of room within the drum to breathe and circulate, allowing them to be rinsed and fluffed up properly," she explains.
"If you try stuff too many in, you'll end up with a clumped together heap, with moisture pockets throughout, leading to scratchy, stiff towels.
"Make sure to wash your towels separately to your other laundry to avoid any colour or fibres transferring onto your beautiful pristine towels."
Another hot tip from Lucy is to avoid silicone-based fabric softeners when putting you towels to wash. Why? Because repeated use of these sorts of softeners can lead to build up, and make your towels less absorbent in the long run - and no-one wants to be left dripping wet after a shower.
And while it may be tempting to boil your towels in a super-hot wash, this could be the very worst thing for them.
"Generally, wash your towels at 40 degrees as any higher can cause them to wear out too quickly," Lucy says.
"However, to remove oils and bacteria that can build up over time, put them through a 60 degree wash occasionally. This routine will allow them to be perfectly hygienic without taking away from their quality and texture."
Once they've been through the washing machine, shaking your towels can genuinely make all the difference to how soft they be.
Lucy advises a brisk shake before they go into the drum, and a brisk shake after they've done a cycle.
"This will open up the fibres slightly, allowing the detergent to sink inside every pore and make them super clean," she says.
"At the end of the drying cycle, or before hanging them outside if you are line drying, shake the towels a second time. The act of shaking will loosen the fibres of the fabric, making your towels super plush and fluffy."
One golden rule for drying your towels is to always avoid putting it on the radiator.
"This will lead to a rough finish, exactly what you are trying to avoid!" Lucy notes.
"Instead, alternate between tumble drying and line drying. The best way to get super fluffy towels is tumble drying immediately after a wash, however overuse can make the fabric wear down over time.
"To combat the effect of the tumble dryer, line dry your towels occasionally. Not only does line drying leave your towels with a fresh natural scent, but the sunlight can also have a bleaching effect which is perfect if you have white towels.
"The UV rays can even help kill bacteria!"
Who knew there was so much to it?